Time is our ultimate currency, we must be careful how we spend it.” John McQuiston II
After an insanely busy month of July that I wished I had slowed down enough during to write and reflect and an extremely slow and relaxed month of August spent on the road visiting friends, family and getting rejuvenated for the upcoming year, the time came to prepare for the coming students and school year.
After six weeks of observing a coaching new teachers, I came away with a few specific goals for the school year:
1. Create a more visually inviting space! In order to achieve this I spent several nights in front of the TV getting caught up on all the latest episodes of Sons of Anarchy and creating colorful posters for my classroom. Some of them are instructional posters that are helping my students recall equations and key words and some of them are fun inspirational quotes!
2. Work/Life Balance & Integration. For 3 years I’ve struggled with simply being too busy! In reality, I’m doing just as much work, if not more, this year BUT I’m really working hard to find the balance between work and life and also to find the way that my everyday life and my school life fit and work together. While I do believe that there’s an obvious line between working (and especially working/teaching children) and my personal life I found in previous years that too often I wasn’t finding the connection between what I was spending my out of school time on with what I was doing in school every day. In short – what’s the connection between the sacred and the secular? And is there a difference?
3. Family & Community Support. I’m convinced that partnering with the families and communities of my students is of paramount importance to their success. I have not done a great job in the past staying in touch with my students’ parents, coaches, friends, brothers, aunts, etc. This year I have developed a plan to change that and create a different learning environment for my students.
This summer was a learning experience for me. A lesson in working hard (and not being great at it) and in how to rest a relax. I was reminded tonight as I stumbled across an old book that, “Always We Begin Again”. Whether it be after the eight weeks of summer to greet classes of new students, the new goals set for a new year based on lessons learned, or the three times I deliberately stop throughout my day to be thankful for these moments that I have, slow my mind and body down and begin again. Here’s to a new and exciting year!